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Oral Surgeon in Arlington, VA | Arlington, VA Dental Implants | Washington DC Dental Implants | Arlington, VA Dental Sedation | Arlington, VA Wisdom Teeth

  1016 N. Highland Street | Suite 131
Arlington, VA 22201

Phone : (703) 566-1990
Fax : (703) 888-2891

The Dangers of Plaque and Tartar Accumulation

Preventive measures in dental treatment are intended to defend against the onset of disease. Patients of all ages benefit from preventive dental services that are designed to fend off periodontal disease, tooth sensitivity, cavities, and even oral infections. Routine exams and professional cleanings before bacteria buildup will ensure a lifetime of excellent dental health. Though plaque and tartar are two different things, they have similar properties and tartar forms as a result of plaque buildup. Both are harmful to the teeth and gums and can be prevented through a good oral care routine and regular visit to the dentist.

Risks Associated with Tooth Plaque

Plaque is a sticky, colorless, film of bacteria that is constantly forming on the tooth’s surface. Though there are good and bad bacteria in the mouth, plaque produces acids that attack tooth enamel, damage gums, and create cavities. Excessive plaque buildup may also lead to periodontal disease which has been known to compromise the immune system. When plaque isn’t removed through regular brushing and flossing, it will mineralize into tartar.  

Importance of Tartar Control

Tartar is a calcified plaque that only a dental professional is able to remove during a routine cleaning. If you don’t adequately brush and floss plaque away from the teeth, tartar will accumulate above the gum line and threaten the health of your teeth and bone structure surrounding the gums. Unlike plaque, which is a colorless film of bacteria, tartar is a mineral buildup that is yellow or brown in color. Tartar can also form underneath the gum line and irritate gum tissues, leading to gingivitis and potentially a more aggressive form of periodontal disease.

Once tartar has formed, only a dentist or a hygienist is able to remove it during a process called scaling. During a scaling, the dental professional will uses special instruments to remove the tartar above and below the gum line.

Preventive Oral Care Habits

Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to gingivitis and periodontitis and is best prevented through a rigorous oral care routine that involves brushing for at least two minutes, twice a day, flossing at least once a day, as well as through these additional steps.

  • Regular dental visits – The American Dental Association recommends a dental cleaning every six months. During this appointment, your dentist or hygienist will pay special attention to plaque and tartar on the teeth, remove it accordingly, and assess the state of your teeth and gums through X-rays, and oral examination.
  • Fluoride treatments – Fluoride is nature’s cavity-fighter naturally found in soil, water, and foods. Fluoride treatments, as well as using fluoride-toothpaste, will prevent cavities in children and adults.
  • Eat healthily – Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods from each of the five food groups will reduce plaque and promote optimal oral health. These may consist of fruits, vegetables, protein foods, calcium-rich foods, and whole grains. 
Arlington Oral Surgeon | Newsletter. Ali Pashapour is a Arlington Oral Surgeon.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this website is intended to be purely educational in nature and does not create a physician-patient relationship with Pashapour Oral+Facial Surgery or any agent, servant or employee thereof. By no means should the information contained in this website be considered as a substitute for consultation with a qualified physician and it does not constitute a second opinion. This website and its contents do not represent or claim to provide the information needed for a patient to give his or her informed consent to any dental or surgical procedure or are a reflection of individual patient results, as they may vary patient to patient. Individual results will vary and no guaranteed result is stated or implied by any photo use or any statement, testimonial, or video on this website. The results depicted in “before” and “after” pictures and stated by any “patient testimonial” illustrate results you may or may not achieve if you choose to have a cosmetic surgery procedure. Individual results may vary by patient. Please see our Notice of Privacy Practices.

Oral Surgeon
1016 N. Highland Street | Suite 131
Arlington, VA 22201